No surprise to any of you that an attitude of entitlement is prevalent and growing in our culture today. Sometimes it is downright shocking! I think in a misguided effort to alleviate difficulty in our children’s lives we have developed children who believe everything should be handed to them.
What parent hasn’t been hurt by their child taking advantage of their kindness? Or lacking genuine gratitude for provision and care that is theirs because of their parents’ love and hard work?
In our wealthy western society, we have taught children to take for granted how much they have.[i] Perhaps we taught them this by NOT teaching them to have a grateful heart. Perhaps we taught them this by what we ourselves have modeled.
I can shake my head when I see the self-centered attitude of entitlement in others, but recently I’ve been becoming more aware of it in my own heart and life… and I don’t like it!
I was reading Scripture a week or two ago when I read this verse that stopped me in my tracks:
…or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance? Romans 2:4
I have read this verse many, many times in the 33 years I’ve been a believer, but this time it pierced my heart. There is no doubt in my mind that YES, I do presume on the riches of God’s kindness, forbearance and patience. I take it for granted every time I choose to sin.
God is not just kind, He is RICH in kindness. God does not just forbear, but He is RICH in forbearance. God is not just patient, He is RICH in patience.
I realize the attitude of entitlement is not just evident in others but it is evident in my very own heart.
God’s kindness is meant to lead me to repentance and every time I fail to repent – stop and turn away from my sin – I presume upon God’s kindness. I act like I am entitled to it! Now I shake my head at my own self-centered attitude of entitlement.
I hurt Father when I take advantage His kindness. Or when I lack genuine gratitude for His provision and care for me because of His love and the finished work of Christ on the cross.
Father, forgive my arrogant attitude of entitlement. I do not want to presume upon the richness of your kindness, forbearance or patience.
[i] I know there are many children, even in our own country, that don’t have enough food to eat or cool place to lay their head at night – I don’t think those children are inclined to an attitude of entitlement.
Diane Hunt serves part-time on the staff of America’s Keswick providing ministry support from her home in North Carolina. She is also a biblical counselor and women’s event speaker. For more information about having Diane speak at your next event please contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.